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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 15 May 2012
James has written an intelligent and fascinating guide to starting your own business based on his experience and knowledge. He asks questions which may put some people off e.g. is your idea a business or a hobby ? But that's the whole point, he clearly wants the reader to avoid wasting loads of money attempting to start a business that won't work. One of his key points is to avoid rushing out to patent an invention. This is contrary to accepted wisdom, but he backs this up with sensible reasoning.
The book is very readable with many examples from James life in business. It is packed with good advice. His last chapter "A Final Thought" neatly summarises the key points of the book. This is followed with an appendix which gives references to useful web sites.
Two criticisms. Firstly, the book seems to have been unnaturally forced into the 7 day concept with each chapter being one day. Personally, I think a business is far too important and needs to be carefully considered over a longer period of time (though not necessarily months). Secondly, James occasionally reveals his bias as an investor. For example he claims that entrepreneurs should not worry too much about the amount of equity they give away. Any watcher of 'Dragon's Den' will note how much emphasis the investors give to the amount of equity they get!
But keeping these in mind, this book is an excellent read for any budding entrepreneur or inventor.
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on 17 April 2012
I heard about this book during an interview with James Caan and Simon Mayo and I was impressed by so much of what was said. James Caan seemed such a lovely person and not as harsh as one might assume from his time on Dragon's Den. His book is filled with the same enthusiasm as his interview and is worth a read.
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on 4 July 2013
Why so many 5 stars?

A very poor book that is a personal advertisement for James Caan - whoever he is. I do not live in the UK but after reading this book I think this guy must walk on water. The guy has obviously been successful with his business ventures and he really wants you to know this throughout this book.

This book is far too simplistic and basic to be of much help to anyone with half a brain. It is really aimed at the complete idiot who does not know anything about business. It may be useful if you are starting a recruitment business or wish to ask Mr Caan for finance, but overall there is nothing in this book that you cannot find on the internet for free in many forums and startup-help websites.

The "7 days" bit is a joke too. No one can start up a serious business in 7 days. Essentially Mr Caan simply refers to 7 key areas that a proposed startup venture should think about, such as writing a business plan, conducting market research and customer validation, making appropriate financial calculations to verify if you have a real scaleable business idea. However, the book just skims over these 7 areas - there is not one chart, diagram or even template to help - for example a profit and loss template or cashflow forecast template or other template that could help a budding entrepreneur to help evaluate their business idea.

If you want to help Mr Caan then buy this book, if you want to help yourself, don't waste your money. There are far many more books available on Amazon that will be much more useful than this self promotion book.

For recommendations on other books that I think will be so much more useful for the budding entrepreneur, see my reply post to a comment below.
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on 21 March 2012
A well written step by step by approach to help you consider and really evaluate your business ideas. Through personal experiences, practical advice and tips James Caan outlines the considerations you need to make before embarking in a new business venture.

The book is set out over a 7 day period - with a new consideration related to your new business every day.
Brutally honest James Caan really helps you consider if your idea is really a viable business idea or in fact just a hobby or useless invention! He really encourages you to evaluate yourself and personality, making you consider if you really are cut out for entrepreneurship - through his own experiences he highlights the qualities, drive and determination that you need to succeed in the cut throat business world - I have to say that I really admire Alia and her drive! It is interesting to read the thoughts from an investor point of view on first impressions! Excellent advice on feedback and research ideas as well.

The 7 day thought process is extremely practical and really helps evaluate your business idea in terms of viability, profit potential, research, staffing, ordering, and approaching investors and business development.

Great advice and a really practical way of outlining the thought process involved before embarking on a new business, really appreciated the personal example to close!!!

The book is targeted for all types of entrepreneurs from those starting on their first business to those with a little more experience.
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on 24 August 2013
This book is fascinating, and fairly interesting...but....misleading to the novice entrepreneur....only if you are a serial entrepreneur would you understand that the title is aimed to sell books and entice the inexperienced in business, it takes months of hard work to get more than 7 things done.
I gave the book to a friend.
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on 11 December 2014
This book is certainly aimed more at people with no real idea what business they want to set up as the books talks mainly about ideas for businesses and a lot about James' past including how 'good' of a dragon he was...
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on 23 April 2012
This is a clearly written, helpful guide to let you decide whether you are cut out for business.

It does read a bit like a self-help guide in some parts, and I noticed that there were a number of proof reading errors which made it feel a bit rushed out (spot the duplicated pages)- but you can clearly hear James Caan's voice in the prose. In this way, it is also a big advert for James Caan, but that aside and if you can forgive him using the book to advertise himself and his wares... it is easy to read within a day. Not sure if you could really get a business up and running in 7 days though, although you will have been able to make up your mind about that within a week.
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on 9 June 2016
Best business book I have ever read. It's absolutely brilliant, and a real eye opener. I've read plenty of business books, but none have taught me as much as this one. It also made me think about areas of business that I hadn't even considered before. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who's interested in starting a business. I cannot praise this book enough - it says on the cover that it's in the top 10 business books; well in my opinion, that position is very well deserved. Wonderful book.
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on 27 July 2013
It's a very good book to read before setting up in business, mainly because it walks you through your reasons for creating a business in the first place and talks about whether you have the right kind if personality for it. It's also very easy to pick up and put down, reading it when you have the time without having to go back over it to catch up.

I liked it, I used the advice, it was easy to follow and a good read but...I couldn't help but feel it had been written simply to make money. Yes, I know that's what he's good at and his ability to become rich is part of the reason for buying the book, but it did have a written-to-order feel about it too.
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on 27 April 2012
I was very impressed by this book which takes a realistic view of entrepreneurship. Unlike many other books which tell you you need to spend this and that on your idea before you see whether or not they will succeed This book should really be titled "Get Real". His ideas are pure genius he tells you how to see if your ideas are viable and whether there is a market for them in first place without spending a lot of money since all the resources are out there and all you need to do is find and apply them . He gives brilliant examples of how to do this and also illustrates the folly of spending thousands of pounds and years developing an idea/product that when it comes to the market place may be economically viable. No consumer = no business. He tell you to get customers first and illustrates how to do this. I have read many books which tell you to plough on despite all obstacles reguardless of spending time and money on something that will make you bankrupt. James Caan gives brilliant analysis of how to evaulate your business ideas.I think if business people adopt his ideas there would be considerably less businesses going bankrupt and all the financial consequence and heartach and misery that brings to both them and their families. If you are seriously considering setting up a business please read this book.
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